Saturday, April 9, 2011

red palm oil

When we were over in Zwedru the other week, we drove past a woman with a big jug of red liquid. "I want some!" Well, she wouldn't fill my water bottle with it but pointed me to somebody who would.

Red palm oil is made of the fruit of oil palms. The fruit falls in large clumps and it's pretty - like chestnuts but the color of a brilliant sunrise.

People here in Liberia make the oil themselves, and it has a unique flavor. I can't describe it - maybe a little fruity. It adds a depth to flavor and pairs well with most vegetables and meat.

The refined oil is used for bad foods, but the unrefined red oil is full of healthy things. You know how coconut oil used to be thought of as really bad but now people are realizing it's actually really good? Like that.

And now I have a big water bottle full of it in my cupboard. I used it today to make cabbage with chicken. The first few bites had too much flavor, but then it mellowed and I like it.

It'll be good with other vegetables, like potato greens.

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